Malia’s Birth Story
Date of Birth: August 14, 2010
Weight: 7lbs 5oz
Height: 21 inches
Head Circumference: 14 inches
Hadley and I were playing in her room getting ready for bed Friday night at 8:15. As I stood up from the floor to read her a story, I felt a small amount of fluid rush out. I thought my water might be leaking, but I wasn’t sure. I finished putting Hadley to bed, and then went to the bathroom. I had soaked through my pants, but there wasn’t any more fluid leaking. I told Gideon so he would know what was going on, and then I went downstairs to watch some TV and relax.
An hour later at 9:15, I started having regular contractions that were 6-7 minutes apart. About 30 minutes later, the contractions were getting stronger and were about 5-6 minutes apart. I updated Gideon and called Nicky to make sure she would be available to watch Hadley that night if needed.
At 10:00, I finished packing my hospital bag and Hadley’s bag. After showering, I tried to sleep but the contractions were much worse while I was lying down. I went downstairs to bounce on the ball and monitor my contractions with Contraction Master, which were now about 4-5 minutes apart. My contractions quickly jumped to 3-4 minutes apart and at 12:45 I told Gideon it was time to call Nicky and head to the hospital.
At 1:00AM, while waiting for Nicky, I was leaning against the kitchen counter through a contraction and my water broke. While I was changing, Nicky got there and we left for the hospital. I had to stop at the ER triage and was then walked to L&D. The nurse said they needed to hook me up to the monitors for about 20 minutes. After getting hooked up, I told her about my birth plan, which she printed off.
The monitors were not on very well so every time I had a contraction the monitors would shift, losing Malia’s heart rate. I was moved into my room with the monitors still on. After having the monitors on for about 45 minutes, I asked to have them removed at 2:30AM. I found the most comfortable position to be sitting on the ball, leaning against the bed during contractions.
At 3:00, a new nurse, Denise, came on shift. I asked when Dr. Knowlton would be coming in and was told that he would probably not be in until morning. I asked Denise to check me, just so I had an idea of where I was. I was 6 cm dilated and very posterior, so I asked to have the tub filled. At this point my contractions were very intense and coming quickly, but not lasting for very long. Dr. Knowlton happened to stop into the hospital, and came by my room.
It took about 20 minutes for the tub to fill. I was only in the tub for 2 or 3 contractions when I felt a lot of pressure and knew I needed to push. Only Gideon and I were in the room, so we pulled the Emergency cord and immediately Denise, Bonnie (second nurse), and Dr. Knowlton came in. When I told them what I felt, Dr. Knowlton asked if I wanted to stay in the tub or get out. I was very hot and having a hard time finding a position in the tub that I liked so I got out.
I got on the bed, which they raised into a sitting position. Dr. Knowlton told me I could push whenever I wanted. After only 3 or 4 pushes her head was delivered and another push I was able to reach down and help deliver her. She was placed on my chest for skin to skin contact where she stayed for almost an hour. She stayed in the room to be measured and her first bath, and then Gideon got to hold her.
From first contraction to delivery was only 6.5 hours; I went from 6cm to 10cm in 30 minutes, and I only pushed 5 or 6 times. It was a great experience ending with an amazing, beautiful little girl.
Isaac's VBAC Birth Story
August 17, 2010, 11:07 a.m.
8 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches long
The week or so leading up to Isaac’s birthday was a busy one to say the least. Wednesday August 11 I had my 38 week prenatal appt. I was checked and found to be at 3 cm already and pretty thinned out. I was given the okay to travel though. Thursday Mason had to have day surgery, everything went well. Friday I was taking care of my poor recovering baby, and also cleaned the living room. I stayed at my mom’s house that night, for my last baby free evening in what I imagine will be a very long time. Saturday morning I had a massage, it was a gift from Mom for my birthday, we headed back home and BIL and his GF came over for the afternoon. Sunday we did a giant grocery shopping haul, we wanted to get a bunch of stuff so we could cook some meals to freeze before the baby showed up. I had planned to do some cooking Monday, but Mason was a bit fussy so I took it easy and relaxed most of the day. I still had a week until my due date, and while I hoped he would show up early I wasn't getting my hopes up. I took a bit of a nap while he did, and just chilled, I got his overnight bag for my Mom’s ready and rounded up some stuff for ours.
I went to bed around midnight that night, I was feeling a bit contraction-y, but nothing that seemed any worse than my usual ones that came and went. By 1:30 am I was still awake, and they were getting harder and harder to ignore, I was also having a lot of small but frequent bowel movements. At 3 am I decided to take a bath and start timing the cx. I was in the tub for about 30 mins and they were averaging around 6 min apart. When I got out I called L&D, and since I was GBS+ they suggested I come in, no big rush just whenever I got to it. I started packing our bag and the cx got a lot closer and much more painful. DH got up and helped get the last minute things ready, like helping with the bag and installing the car seat. I was having trouble finishing the bag, I was getting really overheated and nauseous. Just before we left I threw up, something that never happened in my first labour. We managed to get everything rounded up and got Mason loaded up in the car shortly after 4 am and headed to my Mom’s to drop him off.
It was close to 5 am by the time we got to the hospital and up to L&D, I got changed and checked and was at 5 cm. The nurse got me the ball and I hung out on that while she put in my IV (very clumsily might I add) and started my GBS antibiotics. I was having a lot of trouble with the cx because I was having extremely excruciating back labour. I was practically sobbing through every cx because my back, hips and thighs were just in agony, I hardly felt a thing in my uterus. At some point not long after I got there I asked for an epidural, but it was late and there was something else going on, so I had to wait. I finally got it at around 6:45 am, and felt for the most part better, but I was still having pain in my right hip, but it was tolerable to breathe through. They waited about 30 mins to make sure everything had taken affect and then checked me before putting in my cath, I was still at 5 cm but my bag of water was bulging. Not 10 min after I was checked and my cath was put in my water broke, which was a very strange sensation. There was a little meconium in the fluid but nothing major or worrisome. At this time the shift changed so I had a new RN and OB. The entire time I was there the baby’s heart rate was dipping along with my cx, I was worried that they would use this as a reason not to go ahead with the VBAC, but my OB said that she was fine with it since they were with the cxs not random, and they were coming right back up as soon as the cx was done, so she was okay with it. She also said that I was in fact experiencing back labour, baby was “sunny side up” as she put it. At around 8:30 am I was still having a lot of hip pain and having to breathe through all my cx, so the RN called in the new anaesthesiologist to see about topping me off. He checked my levels and everything was still fine, so he gave me just a little bit and told them to roll me onto my right side. After that I was checked again and to my surprise I had gone from 5 cm to 9 cm in just over an hour!
At some point between 9-9:30 am I was fully dilated and it was time to start pushing. They deflated my cath bulb and said it would come out while I pushed. The whole pushing thing is kind of a blur of pain. DH was there holding my leg the entire time, watching the whole thing. By pushing I managed to get him to turn half way, but he was still sideways so the pushing was kind of in vain. At that point the OB came in and had to help turn him the rest of the way, which was incredibly painful, but effective because pushing did get a little easier after that. Towards the end I started to wuss out, this pushing business was hard, I felt like I was about to split in half. There was a lot of “I’m tired, I don’t want to push anymore, it hurts too much, etc” coming from me, and a lot of “Pull yourself together, you can do this, you have to do this, no one else can do it for you” from the RN. We were getting to the end but something just wasn’t giving, the OB said she was going to do an episiotomy, at which point I almost actually jumped up and said “NO!” She asked why, I said tears heal better, which she agreed with, and said she almost never does episiotomies anymore. “So what makes me so damn special?” She said I had already torn a bit, as well as in other places, but she was afraid I would end up with a 3rd degree or worse tear, there was just a lip of skin that was keeping him in. Exhausted, tired and sore, I agreed to it. The snip was made and within the next 2-3 pushes his head was out (covered in a massive amount of blonde hair), followed closely by his shoulders and body! At 11:07 am Isaac Alexander was born and after nearly 2 hours of pushing I was finally done!!!
Meeting our boy for the first time
DH cut the cord and they put him on my chest while they dealt with the placenta. They got me all prepped and started work on stitching me up, my legs felt like jelly, so having them up for all the stitching was hard. I did skin to skin with Isaac and tried nursing, but he wasn’t interested so we just cuddled. After a bit the nurse took him just to a table by my bed to clean him up a bit and do his and then I let DH have some time with him while they continued to work on me. He was 8 lbs 7.5 oz (which they rounded up to 8 oz) and 20 inches long, with apgars of 9/9. The OB said I had “a lot” of 2nd degree tears, internally as well as my labia, in addition to the episiotomy, so the boy sure did a swell job of literally tearing me a new one. It took almost an hour to put me back together, pretty much as soon as she was done they took out my epi. I got him to nurse for a bit and then they rushed me off to shower. We only had to stay at the hospital for 1 day which was great compared to the 4 night stay with Mason.
Isaac getting cleaned up, and meeting his big brother for the first time
Breastfeeding is a tad painful still, but infinitely better than it was with Mason, and I also haven’t really been hit with the “blues” yet. Big brother is adjusting. He is teething and still a bit sore so he is understandably a little crankier than usual. But he is quite fond of his baby brother and loves to give him kisses. We’re trying to be patient with him and give him attention whenever we can. DH got almost an extra week off since Isaac showed up 6 days early, so I have him home with me until Sept 7, which is a godsend, he’s been pretty much taking care of Mason while I am restricted to being a milk factory. I hope we can integrate Isaac into Mason’s routine before he goes back to work. I will say that the recovery for a vaginal birth is so different from my c-section, in some ways even more painful. I had a very easy recovery from my c/s, and this one has been rougher in a lot of ways. The day after the birth I wasn’t even sure that the VBAC was worth it to be honest, and quite frankly I’m still on the fence. We’ll have to see how ambitious I’m feeling once baby #3 comes along as to what manner of birth I’ll choose.
So that’s pretty much it. If you read the whole thing congrats. As I finish this story I’m sitting here with Isaac napping in my lap, and Mason is sitting in his high chair eating his lunch. I can’t believe this is my life now.
Wow! What a big week this has been! I went to the doctor last monday for my weekly appt. and they sent me straight over to labor and delivery. My bp was still high, there was protein in my urine, I failed my nst and the baby wasn't moving as they wanted on the ultrasound. I was pretty terrified, but had kind of figured that they were going to go ahead and make me deliver, so I had everything in the car packed and ready to go. We checked into the hospital about 6 and Chandler was delivered at 8:21 by c-section. He weighed 5lbs, 10.7ozs. It may not have been the natural, vaginal birth that I wanted, but it was still beautiful and miraculous in a whole other way.
After Chandler was born he was taken back to my room where he was able to meet his sister. Having Taylor be able to spend that 1:1 time with him was so special. She held her brother before I did! She has attached to him and is committed to teaching him all of her mischevious ways.
Once we were back in our room I was given a 24 hour dose of magnesium. WOW!! The doctor had prescribed me this because of the pre-e. Evidently I was still at risk for seizures and a whole other host of problems. Several of friends had told me about mag and that it was definitely something I did not want to have. The doctor told me it would make me feel like I had the flu, but for me it brought on a level of drunk that is out of this world. Besides having a friend and my husband basically breastfeed my baby, I fell asleep while in the midst of a sentence, forgot most people who were even present and I've been told I made some off color remarks while Scott's preacher was visiting
The next day was a bit better as I really began recovering. I learned that having a c-section is really major abdominal surgery and trying to get out of a bed is difficult at best. I think I had the normal aches and pains, tears over breastfeeding and feelings of being overwhelmed. But, through it all I was able to stare into the eyes of my precious baby, who is sooo beautiful!
Scott and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Scott woke up worried that he didn't get me a card, hello!! you got me a baby! Who cares about a card! On Thursday we were hoping to be discharged, but the baby had lost too much weight and they wanted to keep him another day. Luckily my insurance would pay for 4 nights so it wasn't a problem. The bad part is that they began to supplement him with formula. I was disappointed, but they really considered him to be premature even though he was born at 36 weeks and 2 days gestation. Ultimately, I didn't want to take a chance that he wasn't getting what he needed from me. On Friday we learned that he had jaundice and they were not letting him go home. They put him under the billi lights and the tears began to roll. I could not believe how overcome with emotion I was. On one hand, I hated for him to be taken from me. It killed me to see my little baby under those lights, not to mention the disappointment that we would not be able to go home as we had planned. Scott was like a kid on Christmas who woke up and saw that Santa didn't visit. I had to check out of the hospital, but they were able to move me to a NICU family room where I could go down and visit/feed the baby through the night in the convalescent nursery. All of those babies in the nursery and I was the only one who visited regularly! It broke my heart for those other babies. On Saturday morning Scott and I learned that his billi levels had improved, plus he had gained about 20ozs. The nurses were sure we would be going home. But, we had no such luck. They put him on a billi blanket and wanted him to stay another day. At this point we were tired, had run out of clothes, we soo sleep deprived and were just holding on. I tell you I don't know how people who have kids in the hospital for extended periods do it. Chandler only had jaundice and it about tore me out of my frame. I cried whenever I saw parents walking down to the NICU. Fast forward to Sunday....Chandler's billi level's were up very slightly (about a 9), but he had gained 4 ozs. The nurses told me that according to the chart they use, he should be going home. Even thought the billi level rose, he was 24 hours older. But as we were ready and waiting for the doctor, the nurse told us that they had ordered his billi blanket could be taken off, but he would need to stay another 24 hours so they could take another level in the morning. The nurses were quite upset and told us to advocate for ourselves to be able to go home. Luckily we didn't have to. The doctor who came to see us has a newborn himself and new we needed to be at home. He ordered a home health care company to meet us at the house with a billi blanket and we will have his levels checked at his follow up appt. on Tues. So, yay, we were able to head home on Sunday afternoon!! It's been almost 24 hours and we are exhausted, overwhelmed and blissfully happy!!! I have a whole new understanding of why they call this the miracle of childbirth!
Grayson's Vbac stroy:
I guess i should start off by saying that the birth of my first son Colin left me quite traumatized. I was planning a drug free peaceful birth center water birth. Only to end up laboring med free for 23 hours and getting a csection. This time around I was determined to have a better experience. Because I had a csection I could not use my midwife for this pregnancy. So she recommended a doctor who she sometimes transfers to who not only claims to do vbacs but actually has a very successful vbac rate. It took me over 4 wks to get my first appointment. The office was horrible and it I waited over 30 min for each appointment. It stunk but the doctor made it all worth it. The office experience was totally different from my midwife care and I often left feeling frustrated and neglected as a patient. Fast forward to my 35 wk apt, where my doctor says she will see me in two weeks. I told her that I went into labor with my first at 36.5 wks and that I doubted I would make it to the next apt. she laughed and said "you are carrying way up high and have no symptoms of labor, Ill see you in two weeks".
The day I hit 36 +1 I threw a picnic for 70 people. I was joking with everyone that I just wanted to be pregnant passed the picnic. 36 + 4, at 11pm I was tossing and turning in bed so I got up and started doing some yoga poses. I was in the middle of a down dog when I felt water trickle. I knew my water was breaking I tried to hold it in and walked quickly to our bathroom as soon as I got there I felt a gush down my leg. My husband Ian was downstairs in his office. I grabbed my cell and called him. At that point we called the hospital (I had no plans on going in, I just wanted to make sure my doctor was going to be notified), the on call dr. told me to go to bed and get some sleep and that my contractions probably wouldn't start until morning. I agreed with him because with Colin my water broke and it took 5 hours before I felt anything. Not this time. 30 minutes later I was feeling gentle contractions every 10 minutes, an hour later every 7 minutes, by 2am I called my doula Annie, by 4 am she was at the house. My contractions were 4 min apart by then and painful, manageable but painful. I was standing leaning against the counter and breathing through them. No problem I thought, I can do this. My doula decided we should head to the hospital, we had previously decided that I wanted to get there and get settled before I hit transition. The car ride went smoothly, contractions kept on coming. I actually was able to walk to L and D stopping and leaning on Annie when the contractions hit. As we walked into L and D I started puking all over the floor. It was shift change so it took them way to long to get me hooked up to the monitors changed into my gown etc. I was in a triage room for an hour. Thats when I lost it. The nurse checked me and said I was at 5 cms, 80% effaced. I was really starting to feel pain at that point because they would not let me get out of bed. The nurse was holding me down and putting the monitor on the baby. I told Annie that I was ok but I HAD to get into my room and into the tub. The nurse rudely told us that since I was a vbac, I was not allowed in the tub. That the baby had to be constantly monitored. This was news to me. I was under the impression that I would be able to labor without the constant monitoring, my doctor never specifically said that but when we discussed me laboring at home she assured me that i should come in to the hospital because I would be just as comfortable---that is why I came in before transition, otherwise I would have held out at home as long as possible and crossed my legs in the car if I had to. There was no way I was going to make it to 10cms laying in that hospital bed, Annie and I both new it. My contractions were right on top of eachother and I was moaning/yelling pretty loudly when we finally got into my room. The contractions were so intense that the nurses actually started breaking down the bed and brining in all the equipment for delivery. It was 7 am when they checked me again, I was a 7. I was begging to get out of the bed, trying to get up actually and the nurse was holding me down. I told Annie I had to have the epidural or we had to leave the hospital. Both she and Ian tried to talk me out of it. They both knew how committed I was to a vbac and were afraid an epidural would ruin it (in truth it almost did). I got the epidural at 7:30am. We were all sure the baby would be arriving soon, I had dialated 7cm in 7 hours so we figured it would be 3 hours to get to the last 3 cms. Little did we know 12 hours later I was at 9cm. So now its 7pm, I'm starving, exhausted and cranky. I never bothered going to sleep because I was sure it was going to be time to push any minute. Plus I had all these monitors on and couldn't sleep anyway. The doc came in at 7pm and told me that she was going home to eat dinner and that she would be back around 9pm. I told her that I had to have the baby out before midnight as I wanted him to be born on August 4th because Colin was born October 4th. She promised me we would have him that night and asked how I felt about pitocin. Yet another intervention I didn't want, but I was desperate not to have a csection and I knew the clock was ticking, so I agreed. The nurse started it as low as possible and said she would turn it up one interval every 30 min. By 9pm I was fully dialated and effaced. They called my doctor and told me she would be there in 15 minutes and not to push. When pushing time came I was very frustrated because I could barely feel my contractions and did not know when to push, so Annie my doula suggested turning the epidural off. I agreed. After about 30 minutes i could feel my contractions and started pushing again. The problem was my contractions were only coming every 10 minutes so they had to turn up the pitocin. I was getting hot and they took my temperature it was high, I could tell the dr. was about to tell me something i didn't want to hear. I could see by the look in her face that she was about to tell me I was going to have another failed attempt at a vaginal birth, so with the next contraction I pushed with all my might and the baby crowned, two pushes later his head came out and then his body. I watched the whole thing in a mirror. It was so awesome. My husband was so excited, he was cheering for me the whole time, in fact the dr was cheering for me so loud that I started laughing between pushes. They placed the baby on my chest and I said, "we did it!". It was such a surreal feeling. We waited a good 5 minutes for the cord to stop pulsing, Ian cut it, and the baby nurses took the baby to suction him. I had him back in my arms within 10 minutes. He was beautiful. I felt so redeemed and could not have been happier.
The doctor delivered the placenta, I ended up with one stitch and that was that.
Grayson Tyler Ray
7 pounds 18 inches
Molly’s Birth Story
Date of Birth: August 17 2010
Weight: 10 lbs 1oz
Height: 21 3/4 inches
Head Circumference: 15 inches
We had to arrive at the hospital at 6:00 am for a scheduled c-section at 7:30 am, so my mom came over our house at 5:30 am to sit for our soon to be 2 yr old and eventually bring her to daycare. We left for the hospital and surprisingly I was quite calm. We got there and they hooked me up to the baby's heartrate monitor and contractions monitor. As it turns out, I was having very frequent and a little bit painful contractions so I may have been going on my own this day anyway. They put an IV in and then we just waited until about 7:15 or so and they walked me into the operating room. Right away I was shaking, not only due to the coldness of the room but also because now I was nervous. They put the spinal in (not painful at all) just pressure and warmth. The nurse was great because I was holding onto her really tight! They layed me down on the bed and prepped a bit, then eventually brought my husband in to sit with me. At 8:02 am, Molly arrived! She had quite the set of lungs right away was screaming very loud. They brought her to the scale and I couldn't believe it when they said 10 lbs 1 oz, even bigger than Erin (she was 9 lbs 10 oz). Now don't get me wrong, I'm by no means small, but I am 5'4 and about 140 before pregnancy, where did these big babies come from? My husband actually was able to hold her for a bit next to me as they finished up. Our first had to be taken away right to the Special Care Nursery due to fever and rapid breathing, so it was nice to be able to sit with her for a little bit. They took me back into L&D to recover for a couple of hours and Molly was reunited with us a bit later on that morning.
We are loving life now with our two beautiful girls!
Here's my birth story!
I went to my OB on 8/19 at 41 weeks gestation and he said I had made no progress in the last week (still 1.5 cm and 75% effaced, -1 station). I was so sad! Jared, Arabelle, and I went to eat pizza, like usual on Thursdays, then my parents came over and played with Arabelle and we got the curtains hung up in Bo's room. We went to Zaxby's for supper and I got some boneless hot wings, got home, and walked about a mile. I was having a few contractions that were uncomfortable in the evening, but I tried to not get too excited. By 10 pm, the contractions were every 8-10 minutes, but still not too uncomfortable. I fell asleep around 12 and slept until 2, when contractions woke me up. I was up and down the rest of the night, trying to sleep, but the contractions kept coming. I lost my mucous plug around 4 am and the contractions were around every 5 minutes and lasting about 45-60 seconds. I was having to stop what I was doing and breathe through them. Jared and I left for the hospital around 5 am. When I got to the L&D floor, I was 4 cm and 90% effaced. My OB came around 7 am and broke my water and said I was 5 cm then. The contractions had slowed a bit after laying in the bed, so I got the epidural and they started pitocin to get the contractions really going. I couldn't feel anything, but the monitor showed that the contractions were coming faster and faster. By 10 am, I was 8 cm. I did get another dose of medicine through the epidural around 11 because I could feel the contractions on the left side. At 11:45 I was 9.5 cm. My OB came soon after and I started pushing at 12:04. At 12:21, Bo was born! Finally! At 41 weeks and 1 day. I cut the cord (did that with DD too!) and he weighed 9lb 10 oz and was 21 inches long. His head circumference was 14 inches. Jared was impressed with the size of Bo's toes and I thought he looked a lot like Arabelle did as a newborn. Bo nursed for about 30 minutes and Jared brought Arabelle in to meet the baby. She kept saying "I hold baby!". We went home from the hospital on Saturday around 1:30.
I'll have to add pics later....
Lily's Birth Story
Thursday morning (9/2/10) I had an appointment for a BPP and NST because I was postdates (grrrr). The Doctor said my fluids were on the low side, which I call BS to - my AFI was 6.5 and the baby's bladder was totally full. The baby looked fine otherwise and did fine on the NST. The doctor said she would do me a favor and just have me come back on Monday am and go up to L&D for another BPP/NST (um, how is that doing me a favor?) and then we would go from there. Now these are the hospital doctors that you have to use if you want to deliver at the birth center, not my midwife. She said she would call my midwife and discuss it with her, then I could talk to the midwife on Friday to go over the options. I knew it was just stupid policies and that if I didn't go into labor by Saturday night I wouldn't be able to go to the birth center anyway. I just decided not to fight with the doctor about it and just talk to the midwife later or Friday. Michael and I decided we would walk a lot and go get some spicy food for lunch just to see if that would help. I went to the bathroom before leaving the hospital and noticed I was spotting - I knew this was a good sign so I was pretty excited.
We went to Chelsea Market for lunch at the Thai place there - I had really spicy green curry tofu hoping it would help (even if it didn't get labor going at least it was really yummy). We walked a lot after that, Michael went for a haircut and then I walked to the acupuncturist. I also set up a prenatal shiatsu massage for Friday morning, hoping that between her and my acupuncturist, someone could get some real contractions going.
I had eggplant for dinner (not eggplant parmesan like some places swear by, but it had all the components) and just tried to rest. Around 9pm we decided to double check the hospital bag to make sure everything was there, but I needed to go to the bathroom first - I stood up and felt a little goopy, oozy gush and thought I was losing plug. Next thing I know, I am dripping all over the floor and down my legs. It didn't register right away that my water broke, I thought I had peed on myself. Michael kept saying I think your water broke, and I kept telling him I wasn't truly sure. I called the midwife because I wasn't sure and I had no real contractions going on. While I was waiting for her to call back, I called my mom & sister to let them know what was going on.
Sylvie called back and wanted me to have something sweet to drink because I noticed that Lily's movements had decreased as soon as my water broke. I would call her back in about 30 minutes. Michael went to the diner down the street to get me a chocolate malted since we didn't have anything sweet in the house. The malted was really good at first but then it started to make me so sick. The baby still wasn't moving around as much (and right before my water broke she was all over the place) so Sylvie wanted me to go up to L&D to get checked.
We started running around getting stuff together incase we needed to stay, which was really a pain and hard for me. Michael walked the dog and my cousin called me wanting to know what she could do to help - she lives 7 hours away from us though. It made me laugh but I really couldn't concentrate on a conversation with her. Michael came back in and took the phone away and finished packing the stuff. I listened to the fear clearing on the way there. I waited a while but finally was checked, my water definitely broke and the baby looked perfect - she had turned into a different position though and it made her movements hard to feel. The doctor also told me that my AFI was around 8 - with my water already broken - I guess the doctor was wrong earlier. I wouldn't let them do a VE and since my contractions weren't very impressive, they sent us home. We had the worst cab ride home (sometimes living in NYC is lousy).
Once home, we got a little sleep - I woke up around 4:30 with some contractions, but was able to get back to sleep until around 6 am when I woke up pretty uncomfortable and couldn't get back to sleep. I tried timing my contractions but I hated the app I had downloaded and they weren't really regular enough to bother. I woke Michael up around 7am.
Around 7:30 I called the midwife to let her know that I still wasn't having very regular contractions. We discussed the options that I had. Since my water broke but wasn't really in active labor the choices seemed lousy - 1. I could wait and see what my body did on its own, but I had a clock on me - if I wasn't really in active labor by that evening they would make me go in an get induced. 2. I could go in for cervidil and see if that alone was enough, but since that would be 12 hours out of my day and no guarantee that I would be in active labor so a pit induction was possible after that as well. The third choice was castor oil which was the most likely to get me into active labor, but would probably be pretty miserable. We discussed all of them and I discussed it with Michael and in the end we opted for the castor oil. Michael went out to get castor oil and some food, I called my mom who was going to drive down (it was a 2 hour drive). It was around 8 am and I was starting to feel nauseous. I wound up throwing up a little (I think it was a little combo of not enough food and nerves).
I drank the castor oil around 9 am (YUCK) I mixed it with V8 because I didn't have anything else in the house, it was so vile. I tried to eat the bagel Michael brought back, but I had no appetite anymore. We showered around 9:30 and just tried to rest. I started having more regular contractions around 10:30 or 11:00 so we started to track them better. We did a few of the hypnobabies scripts and I think I actually was able to sleep in between contractions. My time line gets a little fuzzy here - I know my mom showed up and the cramps/diarrhea hit before noon - it was really hot in my apartment and my mom & Michael took turns putting cool compresses on my head and neck while I was in the bathroom. I felt way better on all fours on the floor during contractions, but it was really hard to get there quick enough. I was back and forth between my bedroom with the air conditioning (where I would wind up freezing and covered under the blankets) and the bathroom until around 2:30 or so. At that point the contractions seemed to intensify and get closer together (between 1-3 minutes) and I began to feel a little pushy. I also knew that if we didn't leave right away I would not survive the car ride. We called the midwife (Roseanne had come on in the AM) and told her how I was feeling, she said to leave and we would meet at the birth center by 4. We got in the car and it was the most torturous ride of my life… there was quite a bit of traffic (between it being around 3pm on Friday and Labor day weekend it was inevitable). I was so miserable and convinced that I was going to give birth in the car. We finally got there around 3:45 and the nurse told us that the midwife wasn't there yet. She seemed worried that Roseanne wouldn't get there in time because of the way I came in moaning and wanting to push. She got me in a room and after I went to the bathroom hooked me up to the monitors. At least I didn't have to get on the bed and was able to be on all 4s on the floor. It was still a nightmare.
Roseanne got there when I was on the monitor and got me up on the bed to check me - 8 cm! I wanted to get in the tub, so Laurie (the nurse) started to fill it up for me while I went back to the bathroom. As soon as it was full I got in and they turned on the jets - I was so happy - it felt awesome! I was getting really miserable during every contraction now and having a really hard time using Hypnobabies effectively, but Michael kept doing the relax cue and feeling his hand on my shoulder and hearing his voice was really comforting. At some point I started pushing involuntarily in the tub and they had me get out (I hate that you can't give birth in a tub) and moved me to the bed.They checked me again and I was a 10 - it was around 5:30 - 5:45. I tried a few "test pushes" on all fours and then I started feeling really sick and threw up a few times. After that I was able to push again, i pushed in several different positions, on all fours, on my side and finally using a wedge to lean against. I felt like I was pushing forever and was feeling a bit like it was never going to happen - the nurse got a mirror so I could see for a bit to keep me motivated. There came a point where I wasn't stretching or tearing, despite everything the m/w was doing, so the she asked if it would be okay to give a tiny snip - I wanted to try a little longer to see if something would change - she agreed to let me after checking the babies heart with the doppler. It still hadn't changed ten minutes later, so I agreed to let her snip. Right after that, her head was out and as her shoulders came out I was able to reach down and grab her and pull her up onto my chest. It was amazing! It was 6:59 pm and Lily Antonia Louise was born, she was 6lbs, 15oz. and 20 inches long. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Michael cut it. I needed a shot of pit afterwards because I was bleeding a lot and my uterus wasn't contracting. Lily hadn't tried to nurse yet - she was just lying on my chest looking around. We spent a lot of time in awe of her and the whole experience while Roseanne stitched me up. They moved her off my chest after about an hour to give her the erythromycin (I am severely allergic to it so they couldn't do it on me), The nurse was great - according to Michael, he doesn't think she actually touched her eyes with it.
Breastfeeding was kind of rough the first night, Lily was kind of a lazy latcher/sucker but we kept at it all night (in between phone calls and food). The nurses were great, apparently the head nurse is an LC and provide all of the BC nurses with a lot of support and training. Our nurse spent about 45 minutes with me at 4 am trying to help us. We are still working on it, but it is definitely getting better. We were released the next afternoon and have spent the past week just adjusting to life as parents. It's been exhausting, but totally amazing. I am just completely in love with her and being a mom.
***WARNING*** Extremely long birth story for a not so long labor.
On Tuesday August 17th I went to my 40 week appointment. I was completely discouraged even though I was only two days past my due date. I hated feeling that impatient but with as many false starts as Jillian had given me, I was just so ready for the pregnancy to be over. Well for the last eight weeks or so of my pregnancy they had been worried about the baby being larger than average and I was also thought to have large amounts of amniotic fluids which was causing me to measure so big. My doctor was concerned that I had not went into labor yet, not because I was overdue or anything, but simply because he didn’t want the baby to get too big to deliver vaginally as he knew was so important to me. I was still stuck at 1 cm and he was also familiar with my history of labor that just doesn’t progress as it should. Because of all of these things and the severe pains I was having, he thought it would be best for baby to come soon, like within the next few days. He sent me for an NST. If I failed I was to be admitted and if I passed I was to come back the next day with the intensions of inducing me either way. I passed and was told to come back that next afternoon, on Wednesday, for an ultrasound so that they could verify that baby was still head down and get another estimate of her weight. He was scaring me with a bit of c-section talk since he was really concerned with her size. I wasn’t happy about that but he said not to panic and that we would discuss it further when we saw how big she likely was.
I passed the NST and came back that next day for my ultrasound. Thankfully baby was still head down and was only measuring 8lb 12oz. I was sure at that point that I would be able to have my vaginal delivery. I had avoided a c-section with the first two and was really hoping to do the same with this one. After the ultrasound the tech said that the doc would get the results the next morning which really confused me since I thought we would be inducing either that day or the next. So I walked across the hall to find out what was going on. Boy was I glad I did. It turns out my induction was actually already scheduled for that night at 7pm. And it was already 3:30pm! Talk about feeling rushed. I got to my car and called DH right away to fill him in. He called his mother to set everything up for the kids. As soon as I got home I started dinner and was running around trying to make sure I had everything together that the kids would need. My husband was all but laughing at me, I was just going nuts with worry and excitement and lots of nervous energy.
I also called my mother to fill her in and I could sense her excitement as well. For weeks she had planned to come visit us on the 19th - the 22nd and had her flight booked and everything. We were all sure baby Jillian would be here by then and she would get lots of time with her new granddaughter. Well it looked at this point like she might actually make it to the delivery. Her flight was scheduled to land in Cincinnati at 11:30 am on Thursday and since I wasn’t being induced until Wednesday night and my labors usually last 20+ hours even with pitocin, I was convinced I’d get to have my momma there with me.
Anyway, DH and I got to the hospital right at 7pm and they got me to a room right away. I had been having contractions for about 6 weeks now and they were slowing becoming stronger and more frequent but the ones I was experiencing that night did seem to have a bit more of a ‘punch’ to them. I was not willing to get my hopes up though and was just glad that my pregnancy was coming to an end one way or another in the next day or so. They hooked me up to the monitors and noted that I was contracting consistently but not really regularly, with them being anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes apart. I was also at 2-3 cm as well so we all sort of thought I was slowly starting labor on my own that night. After a few excruciating hours on the monitors my midwife called in to the nurses to cancel the cervidil (sp?) she had ordered. She said that since I was dilating on my own she would take me off the monitors and let me get a good night sleep. They would wake me at 5 to get a shower and start me on pitocin at 5:30. I was also under orders to alert the nurses if my contractions got worse and I felt I had to stop and breath through them because they would want to monitor me for a bit at that point. Since I never experienced contractions until I had pitocin with my previous labors I wasn’t sure what a ‘real’ contraction that didn’t involve pitocin was supposed to feel like. The contractions I was having were definitely stronger than they had been in the past but I could still talk through them and I felt okay so I thought for sure they couldn’t be the real thing. Umm…I think I was wrong. But with the sleeping pill they gave me that night, I apparently slept through quite a few of them.
The nurses woke me up early as promised and my shower felt so great. I did have a few contractions though that caught me by surprise and although they were still very tolerable they were definitely ‘real.’ I told the nurse that and they hooked me up to the monitors to check things out. I needed to be monitored anyway for a half an hour before they could start the pitocin. They also checked me and I was at a 4! It really seemed like labor was happening on its own without the induction. But, because my contractions were still not really regular, still coming anywhere from every 2 to 5 minutes apart now and I hadn’t progressed or dilated that much overnight, they still felt the pitocin was necessary. They did say though that they were giving me the smallest dose possible as they didn’t think it would take much. They asked about my desire for a epidural but I told them I’d wait and see as I was still feeling good at that point. So once they got me all set up with the pitocin it was after 6. I wish I could remember exactly what time.
This is actually right around the time where I wish I had a better handle on times. Things get a bit fuzzy as to when everything actually happened because it sudden happened extremely fast. I kind of knew I was in labor at this point but again, the contraction, compared to what I had experienced in previous labors, were not that intense. So I still felt like this was going to be a long and drawn out event. I started feeling like I had to have a bowel movement. Although I’ve experience this in the past and know it is a normal feeling in labor, I just really thought I had to go to the bathroom. I had been allowed to eat up until midnight and had not passed what I had eaten then. I certainly didn’t want to do that as I was delivering. So I asked the nurse if I could be taken off the monitors to go to the bathroom. She said sure and I went but couldn’t really go aside from peeing. I told my nurse and she said, are you sure its not pressure you’re feeling? I told her that I guess it was possible but that I didn’t think things had progressed enough for that to be true. I was only at 4 cm and still not feeling contractions I couldn’t breathe through. But as I was saying that, another contraction hit and it hit hard. I shoved my fist in my back to relieve some pain and said that things were definitely picking up. But I had just been given the pitocin less than an hour ago. A new midwife was coming on duty so the nurse said she’d get me hooked back up to the machines and then get the midwife in to talk to me. Another contraction hit as we were getting the monitors set and OMG!!! PAIN! I didn’t know contractions could feel like that. It was back labor which I was used to but it was mixed with this horrible feeling of pressure that made me literally scream. I don’t like to lose control but at that exact moment that’s exactly what happened. I flipped out. Looking back I think it was more because of how fast it hit rather than the intensity itself. But either way, it was definitely INTENSE. I was yelling at the nurse not to hook me up but she said she had to and I said, “well if I get uncomfortable I am NOT laying still here. I need to move. I will not stay strapped down if I can’t.” I feel so bad for how loud I was but I just didn’t expect this. The midwife was there by now and telling me she had to check me. So I somewhat complied and tried to stay still but they were coming one on top of each other at this point. I was at an 8 and my water broke just then from her fingers! What?! I had just been checked less than an hour ago and was at a 4! I guess it was time to have a baby. But I was so not prepared for this and I started asking for an epidural. I had wanted to go natural but never tried with my first 2 and was a bit scared. The pain made me ask for one and they said they’d get the anesthesiologist in ASAP. Well I started screaming at the midwife because she wanted me on my back with my knees up and I wanted to get off the bed and move around. The contractions were something I’ll never forget and I handle pain very well so I can’t believe the way I reacted to them. She kept trying to calm me down to talk rationally with me and I remember screaming, “don’t talk to me, just don’t talk to me. I can’t help it. It hurts too bad. Stop talking to me.” That poor midwife. I’m sure she’s used to that sort of thing but I have never acted that way in the delivery room before and I hate how angry I got with each contraction. Well suddenly I was like, this baby is coming. She explained to me that there was no waiting for pain relief, that this was happening right now no matter what. But that I had a decision to make. I needed to take control of myself and the situation, to listen to her and do as she said. And we could have a baby in minutes. Or I could keep tightening and fighting this and it would continue to hurt but take a bit longer and make things worse. She was also afraid I’d lose control and just push and tear myself apart. She needed me to control my pushing and do things slow and steady.
So I got myself together. My poor DH, I don’t think he knew what to do. But they had him grab one of my legs, the nurse held the other, and the midwife was telling me what to do and when. She had me push and warned of the ’ring of fire’ but that if we went slow and steady, the pain would lessen and things would happen quickly. It hurt and I screamed but I really took control and focused and as soon as we got past that ’ring’ her head was out and she was here. I didn’t push for long, maybe a few minutes, and I am proud to say that I delivered her completely pain med free WITH pitocin contractions and she was 9lb 2.8oz! Wow! It was unplanned and unexpected and I wish I had given myself the benefit of the doubt and prepared myself for the natural birth I wanted but never thought I’d be able to handle. But I really am proud of myself for pulling it together and taking at the control at the end. After the birth we laughed because the midwife didn’t even have time to change into her gown or anything. The anesthesiologist actually made it into the room to witness the birth. LOL. They started pitocin at 6am and she was born at 7:56am That is pretty darn fast if you ask me.
They put her on my chest right away and I just held her and smiled and cried a bit. I looked up at my husband and saw the joy on his face and I could have stayed in that moment forever. They took her to get her cleaned up and do what they needed to do but they did absolutely everything in the room. I love that the hospital didn’t really have a nursery. I watched her get weighed, checked over by the pediatrician, etc. This was all going on as they were trying to get my placenta to deliver. They had to push on my belly L and there were a few pieces to it so they looked over me a lot but decided they had gotten it all and determined that the damage done to me was minimal. I had torn but it wasn’t bad and she really felt that because of the type of tear, stitching it might cause more problems than relief. I was okay with leaving it to heal and so we did. Jillian was put back into my arms less than 10 minutes after she was taken. She was perfectly healthy at 9lbs 2.8 oz, 21.5 inches and apgars of 9 and 9. She latched on to nurse right away and that’s pretty much where she’s stayed these past 3 and a half weeks.
I know this was long and a bit drawn out but as short as my labor was, I felt I had a lot to share. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
DH-Will, married 10/16/09
DS-Bailey 8 and Caleb 3
DD-Tabitha 7, Elaine 5, Aurora 4, Jillian 5 months